Each week, Kate and I are proud and grateful to share the stories of inspiring, empowering, kind and encouraging women across the Midwest. They’re building businesses, catalyzing change, and paving their paths through the world. But as we prepared for this week, my family suffered a massive loss of one very special woman. Last Thursday night, November 5, my big cousin ReeAnna Ramazini was taken from this world too soon. My funny, hard-working, generous 35-year-old cousin was killed by a hit-and-run driver, and my family is reeling. Personally, I’m still about 20 percent sure this can’t be real. But I don’t think a bad dream would last this long.
As the only other only child in my family, my super-cool cousin Ree (who had the CUTEST friends my 9-year-old self could imagine) told me when I was little that she did not like me and that I should talk to her when I’m older. I think I got a little taste of my own version of a big sister from ReeAnna. Feisty, straightforward and fun, she was nine years older and definitely one of those cousins that was so cool to imitate when I was growing up—so I’m positive I earned that comment. Continue reading